Omar Sy’s ‘Father & Soldier’ to Open Un Certain Regard at Cannes

“Father & Soldier” by Mathieu Vadepied, starring Omar Sy, Alassane Diong and Jonas Bloquet will open Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18.

The Franco-Senegalese co-production, shot in France and Senegal, tells the story of Bakary Diallo, a father, who enlists in the French army in 1917 to join Thierno, his 17-year-old son, who was drafted by force. Sent to the front, father and son will have to face the war together. Galvanized by the fervor of his officer who wants to lead him to the heart of the battle, Thierno comes of age while Bakary does everything to pull him out of the combat and bring him home safe and sound.

“Bathed in a brilliance reminiscent of the Autochrome Lumière, ‘Father & Soldier’ sways between the ochre of the earth and the blue of the uniforms, between natural light and the darkness of the trenches. By shooting on the land of the Peuls, near the Mauritanian border, Mathieu Vadepied evokes another tragic dimension of colonization, when France sought soldiers in West Africa,” read a statement describing the film from the festival.

This is Vadepied’s second feature as a director after “Learn by Heart,” which premiered at Cannes in 2015. Vadepied is also a screenwriter and cinematographer.

“Father & Soldier” is produced by Bruno Nahon and Sy and co-produced by Vadepied, with Maryvonne Le Meur and Caroline Nataf serving as associate producers. The film is an Unité and Korokoro production in co-production with Gaumont, France 3 Cinéma, Mille Soleils and Sy Possible Africa. It is distributed in France and internationally by Gaumont.

The Un Certain Regard section will announce its award winners on May 27.